Machu Piccu is one of the most popular sites in South America. Located in Peru, it is a ruin that comprises incredible architectural feats and mysteries of it’s time. It is located high in the Andes Mountain range approximately 8000ft above sea level. Machu Piccu was re-discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, a Yale archeologist. Much of the site’s origins and reasons for being built remain a mystery. Once upon a time it would have been an extraordinary city hidden in the mountains, almost impossible to find. The city was completely self contained, with a water supply from natural springs and agricultural terraces sufficient to feed all of its once inhabitants. Many believe it was a secret ceremonial city of the Inca with over 150 houses, temples and palaces, and today it is in a remarkable state of preservation. The buildings were carved from the mountainside itself, and its architectural talent is considered to be genius for it’s time.
The possibility of visiting Machu Piccu involves hiking the Inca Trail, which is not for the faint of heart. It is a 45km trail which usually takes 4-5 days to complete. If you are relatively fit, it is not a difficult hike, but the altitude can be what affects people the most. The scenic views along the hike are stunning. Most of the hike is through lush green sub-tropical forest with hundreds of different orchid species to be spotted.
The only way to hike the trail is to be accompanied by a licensed tour company. There are often many tours to choose from when hiking the Inca Trail.